Interview with Steve Bardsley from Black Rose, Hammerfest IV, March 2012

I caught up with Steve the singer and guitarist from the UK band Black Rose after Hammerfest IV to ask how they enjoyed playing at the festival and what 2012 has in store for the band.


For those that have not seen you play before, could you tell me about Black Rose?

Well we formed in 1980 and that original line up also featured guitarist Kenny Nicholson who is with us now, and myself of course. The band started out playing local gigs in the North East of England and attracting a following of fans who turned up at every gig to see us, which was great. We then released our first demo in 1981, which managed to get a couple of the tracks into Kerrang’s metal chart play list by the Baily Bros and that kind of got the ball rolling. In 1982 we went back into the studios and released our first single ‘ No Point Runnin ‘ on Teesbeat records which got great reviews both locally and nationally, so we started gigging further afield playing various venues around the UK. We stayed together in various line ups up until 1989, and by then we’d released 2 albums, ‘ Boys will Be Boys ‘ and ‘ Walk It How You Talk It ‘ and played gigs all over the UK and Europe building up fan bases in the UK, Europe, America and Japan…..which was pretty cool.


You reformed in 2006 after a break, can I ask what led you to play together again?

Originally we got back together just as a recording band and this happened because an independent record label, who are no longer going, called Majestic Rock got in touch with me about releasing a compilation CD of some of our old stuff, most of which had only been available on vinyl before. In 2006 they released the CD called ‘ Bright lights Burnin’ and it got Chris Watson (ex-guitarist ) and me thinking about doing some new stuff. We all lived in various parts of the UK now so getting together in a studio was not really practical, but unlike in the 80’s we now have the wonders of the internet and so we recorded everything on line and I mixed and engineered it on my home studio. Unfortunately Majestic went out of business and they never got to release it, so we decided to do it as a download only album.  This got people asking us when we were gonna do some gigs, including a spot at the very first Cradle Will Rock gig in Durham in 2011.
So we put together this current line up and decided to have a go and just see how it all paned out. As it was we had a great night, brilliant response from the crowd and we decided to get back together as a band and do some gigs, which led to us doing Hammerfest IV.  The current line up is Kenny Nicholson on Guitar, Kiko Rivers on Bass, Chris Bennett on Drums and me Steve Bardsley singing and playing the guitar.
It was a great set at Hammerfest IV; how does it feel to be playing UK festivals again?

Thanks, well Hammerfest felt amazing and we got some great feedback after the gig. We weren’t sure how it was gonna go cos we were the first band on and it was only our second gig in recent years, but once we got on stage and seen all them guys headbanging and dancing around it was just like the old days. We even had some guys shouting out songs from our past, which I was amazed at, but unfortunately we didn’t play any of the ones they wanted cos we’d already decided to try and keep it as heavy as possible for Hammerfest and played a lot of our early 80’s material.


Is it better this time round; have things changed?

Beer bellies, grey hair or balding heads and dodgy backs so yeah we sure as Hell have LOL!

Seriously this time around we’re not trying to be rock stars so there is no pressure, not like back when we first started when the band was the be and end all, when we wanted to tour the world and have the major record deal, now we’re just enjoying it, having a blast and taking it as it comes.


How have your influences changed from when you first formed, if at all?

Yeah our influences have changed a bit I guess cos now there is so many bands around that weren’t we first started. Then it was Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest and AC/DC but now we listen to loads of new stuff as well so it’s bound to have an affect on our writing.


Your last album ‘Cure your disease’ came out in 2010, are there plans to record another album soon?

As a matter of interest we’ve just signed a deal with German Record label Metalizer to release ‘ Cure ‘ on CD for the first time officially so that’s cool. It should be out in the summer to coincide with a the Headbangers Open Air festival we’re doing in July. In fact we’ve got three albums coming out in the summer, one is a CD of back catalogue stuff on Hellion records and the other is a limited edition vinyl record of previously unreleased demo’s from the early 80’s on High Roller records. As a result of our spot at Hammerfest I’ve just found out that a UK record company is interested in us doing a new recording, but it’s early days yet so I can’t say too much, keep an eye on our website for updates.


What bands did you manage to see at Hammerfest?

Unfortunately we couldn’t stop at Hammerfest due to guys work commitments so we didn’t get to see many bands at all. We saw Firebrand Super Rock in the Vic and they were really good, and we caught some of Fury’s set but we were doing some promo work afterwards so didn’t see it all.


What does 2012 have in store for you? Do you have other gigs lined up at the moment?

Well like I said we have three new albums coming out all around the summertime I think, and we’re playing on the Saturday night at HOA festival in Germany which is headlined by US rockers Riot. so we’re all looking forward to that. We’re trying to get some more gigs organised between now and then and in the meantime we’ll see how this record company thing pans out.


Is there anything you’d like to say to your fans who came to see you at Hammerfest?

Yeah man, a big thanks to everybody who came and saw our show and made us feel very welcome and 21 ( ish ) again LOL ! it was fantastic speaking to some of the guys after the show who had some really kind words to say so a big, big thank you !, let’s hope we get to see you all and party again very soon.

Oh and finally a big thanks to the sound and light guys at Hammerfest for a great show cheers!


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About Rowena

Interviewer, Reviewer, Radio DJ (Metal Nymph Presents) and Digital Media Wizard at Planetmosh.
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